June 26, 2020 @ 9:23 by Richard Dawson
A consortium of education providers and businesses have come together to set up the North East Institute of Technology.
The Department for Education has granted a licence to the group behind the institute, which will open doors to high-skill, high-wage careers for thousands of learners across the region.
Middlesbrough College is one of a group of FE colleges that will support the institute, led by New College Durham and working partnership with Nissan, Esh Group and Newcastle University.
The institute will deliver higher-level technical training in subjects such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering.
Learning will take place across the partnership’s campuses, including a new purpose built STEM centre at New College Durham; and a purpose built higher education centre attached to the Middlesbrough College STEM centre opening in 2021.
These new facilities will focus on the specific technical skills required to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.
Middlesbrough College will provide a range of specialist courses to build skills for the construction, manufacturing and the digital sectors; part of a portfolio of Institute of Technology-approved courses offered by the partnership of FE providers.
The college’s role in the North East Institute of Technology builds on its work with the Open University and Pearson UK, which aimed to provide more accessible, affordable and flexible higher education in the Tees Valley.
Further education and private training providers also collaborating in the North East Institute of Technology are Sunderland College, Tyne Coast College, East Durham College, and NA College Trust.
Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “We’re excited that as a technical training leader, Middlesbrough College will play such an important role in the North East Institute of Technology.
“Middlesbrough College is also the only general further education college in the Tees Valley to secure gold status in the Teaching Excellence Standard Framework Awards – a prestigious assessment that puts it in the top 20 per cent of higher education providers in the country.
“This is an opportunity for us to deliver even more industry-focused skills training that meets the needs of employers and provides students with routes into high quality careers in the region and beyond.”
John Widdowson, principal and chief executive of New College Durham, added: “Confirmation of Institute of Technology status is a great boost for New College Durham and the North East.
“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with our partners to design and deliver top quality courses and qualifications that meet the needs of industry in our region, both now and in the future.
“The Institute of Technology will give students the opportunity to improve existing skills, or develop new ones to progress their careers, enhancing employment opportunities.”